Kennebec continued his hot streak on Thursday, April 11, when he won the Wildcat Stakes at Turf Paradise in Phoenix, Ariz. 

Kennebec had shown an affinity for the Turf Paradise grass heading into the Wildcat. In his previous three starts on the surface, he had won twice, including a last-out victory on March 11, and finished second by a head in the 2022 Turf Paradise Turf Stakes. He received plenty of late money and went off as the 6-5 favorite in the seven-horse field.

Breaking from post position four, Kennebec started well and was allowed to relax in the early stages of the 11-furlong contest, dropping towards the back of the pack under Brayan Pena. That proved a sound strategy, as longshot Nashville Skyline opened up a long early lead and provided a perfect pace for Kennebec to close into. As they passed three-quarters of a mile in a grueling, for the distance, 1:10.77, Nashville Skyline was 15 lengths clear of the others, while Kennebec drafted in fifth, just two and a half lengths off the second-place runner. 

As they rounded the third and final turn, Nashville Skyline’s strides began to shorten, and Pena angled Kennebec off the rail and readied him to make his move. He struck the front in the three-path entering the stretch, and fended off the challenge of Midnight Jostar to his inside. Kennebec pulled clear late and won by one and a quarter lengths. The final time for the 1 3/8-mile contest was 2:13.38. 

The Wildcat improved Kennebec’s career record to 9-7-5 from 30 starts, with earnings of $251,543. On grass, he’s 6-for-16 lifetime, and has finished in the top two 11 times.

Kennebec was bred by Stuart Grant’s The Elkstone Group LLC, and sold for $27,000 to Chris Drakos from the Brookdale Sales consignment at the 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Drakos campaigned him with trainer Ryan Hanson for his first 10 starts, with one victory, before being claimed for $25,000 by current owner Sergio Salguero at Los Alamitos on July 3, 2021. Kennebec raced in the barn of trainer Jonathan Wong until the summer of 2023, when he was transferred to trainer Ruby Thomas. He was transferred yet again earlier this year to current trainer Jose Silva Jr. Kennebec has hit his best stride as of late, with victories in four of his last five starts. So far in 2024, he has a record of 3-0-0 in four starts with earnings of $69,180.

Kennebec is by classic-winning multiple champion Lookin At Lucky out of the Maryland-bred Gators N Bears mare Thisdanseistaken. Grant claimed Thisdanseistaken, a 10-time winner and earner of $258,910, for $25,000 on the Black-Eyed Susan undercard in 2015, and retired the stakes-placed 6-year-old mare that fall. From four starters, Thisdanseistaken has produced a pair of winners, with Kennebec her first stakes winner. Her most recent foal is a 2-year-old Global Campaign filly named Belle of Freedom. Another mating to Global Campaign for 2023 did not produce a foal; she was bred to Improbable for 2024.


More News

Kennebec wins Hasta La Vista thriller

It took every bit of the 1 ⅞ miles of Turf Paradise’s closing day feature, the Hasta La Vista Stakes, on Saturday, May 4, for Kennebec to hit the front and earn his second consecutive stakes victory.

Read more ...

Half-brother to Monday Morning Qb leads Maryland-breds at Ocala

Maryland-breds did brisk business at the Ocala Breeders’ Spring Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale, held April 16-19 in Ocala, Fla. Eleven Maryland-breds went through the ring, with eight selling, four for six figures.

Read more ...

Awesome Adrian wins the Grand National to lead big day for Maryland-breds

Second to Road to Oz in the 2022 Grand National Timber Stakes, Awesome Adrian got revenge and turned the tables on his rival in this year’s edition, held Saturday, April 20 in Butler.

Read more ...